Winter Walk with a Weather Expert image

This is an archived post from Walking Around Like We Own the Place:

Winter Walk with a Weather Expert 

I went on a walk in Limerick with a weather-expert in his 70s. This is a walk he does every now and then, as an alternative to his usual walks. Why does he like this walk? “Because it’s a real city walk, and you’re going by water the whole time.”

The walk takes you in a great loop around the edge of King’s Island, with bare fields and housing estate on one side, and water on the other. Starting at the Treaty Stone, you go over Thomond bridge towards the castle, take a left immediately after the bridge (before the Gate House folly), and go down that road, which starts with the scene in the photo above. (This road, as my host took pleasure in pointing out, is called “Verdant Place”. Who gave it that name? Did the Irish version of the name come first? I think I remember the Irish version was “Plas Urglas”.)

To keep on with this walk, you take a left at the community centre to join a wide, muddy path by the river. The path takes you in a great curve, first along the Shannon and then along the Abbey River, until you come out again at the other side, by Athlunkard Boat Club. However, we did not get as far as Athlunkard Boat Club, because the path is very effectively blocked (at the moment) with structures put there to repair the damage done by 2014’s massive flooding. The weather-expert and I did get past the first block, because a bit of it was torn away by other people. And we despaired of the second block until two friendly barking dogs showed us how to get past it. But after that, the path was impassable – a brown, surreal landscape of muck and brown metal flood structures – so we turned back.

The weather expert says that his main memory of this walk is of seeing the sky darken with a great team of brent geese, who circled and circled before landing all together in the water.